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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hello, World!!!

Two days. Three bloggers.
One farmhouse in the deep recesses of a rural Virginia county. 

No, it's not the start of a horror movie. Although, despite multiple reassurances, my fellows aren't entirely convinced everyone is leaving alive. Which, given our remote location at present and satellite Internet (you read that right), is a fair concern... 

In all seriousness, we've been away a long while, and we wanted to relaunch with gusto. What did we decide on you ask? We went old school, and we're bringing back the lock-in! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Last Time We Say
Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: February 10, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Pages: 400
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.
When I was 17 years old, in my first few weeks as a freshman in college, on a Sunday that started like any other Sunday, I got a call from my parents that someone I’d known for many years, a close friend of my brother’s, had killed himself. I hadn’t seen or spoken to this friend in a while, but that didn’t matter. The shock came immediately.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Pages: 336
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
What if you'd been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she's said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?
I needed a big strong book to break me out of both my reading and my reviewing hiatus. (Hiatus sounds prettier than slump, and I’m all about them words.) I wanted something that kept my attention, that pulled at my heart, that made me think about it even when I wasn’t reading it. It seems that book was Julie Murphy’s debut Side Effects May Vary. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Pages: 336
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
Skillfully blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, award-winning Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith chronicles the story of Ariel, a refugee who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century . . . and a depressed, bionic reincarnated crow.
With its insane plot, well-drawn characters, and wholly unique narrative style, Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle was my favorite novel of 2014. Both Grasshopper Jungle and Winger are rock solid offerings from a delightful, off-kilter author, so my expectations for The Alex Crow were understandably high. Unfortunately, the strengths of both Grasshopper Jungle and Winger are weaknesses in The Alex Crow, which feels like a half-hearted and half-baked Andrew Smith effort.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tuck Everlasting 40th
Anniversary Blog Tour

"You don't have to live forever, you just have to live."
- Angus Tuck, Tuck Everlasting

That's probably one of my favorite literary quotes. I'm a big believer in the notion that you should live in the moment and not take your days on this Earth for granted. However, that being said, I've often wondered what it would be like to have forever. Honestly, who hasn't?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 384
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?
After Lainey's boyfriend Jason publicly dumps her at the beginning of the summer following their junior year of high school, her best friend Bianca tricks her into doing some summer reading by creating a plan to get him back utilizing Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Using a 10 point list based on bits gleaned from the ancient Chinese literature, Lainey and Bianca create a strategy involving Micah, a coworker at the coffee shop where they work, who's also recently single, designed to reunite each of them with their exes. It's a jealousy pact which involves alternating dates to attract the attention of their former paramours in order to remind them of what they're missing. What they don't anticipate, is how much they start to enjoy spending time with each other, despite being from totally different social stratospheres.